West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of trying to create an “atmosphere of Talibani Hinduism and Talibani communalism” in the country and gave a call for ouster of the saffron party in the next Lok Sabha polls.
The Trinamool Congress chief’s comments came in the backdrop of the alleged lynching of 28-year-old Akbar Khan in Rajasthan’s Alwar district by a group of people on the suspicion that he was smuggling cows.
Banerjee, a strident critic of the BJP, said the saffron party was trying to create “an atmosphere of Talbani communalism, Talibani violence and of lynching and hatred”.
Addressing the 25th annual Martyrs’ Day rally at Esplanade in the heart of the Kolkata city on saturday, she said, “We (TMC) do not believe in their concept of Talibani Hinduism and Hinduism with weapons.
“We believe in Hinduism preached by Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramkrishna Pramahansa…Those who now rule the country have bloodstains on their hands.”
Giving the call of ‘BJP hatao, desh bachao’ at the massive rally, she claimed that her party would win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Attacking the BJP, Banerjee said, “Everyday people are being lynched. Today too one person was lynched. They (BJP) have unleashed religious terrorism. Before lecturing the states to take steps against those involved in lynching, they should ask their own leaders to behave.”
The TMC supremo said that she respected the BJP-RSS old timers as they were not into “playing dirty games” but not its present leaders and would organise a federal front to remove the saffron party from power at the Centre.
She said the TMC would hold a mega rally at the Brigade Parade ground here on January 19 to sound the poll bugle to capture power in Delhi in the next Lok Sabha election and opposition party leaders from across the country would be invited for it.
Hitting back, the BJP said that Banerjee should “stop dreaming” of becoming the next prime minister as her ambition will never be fulfilled.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha told reporters here, “There are doubts whether she would be able to retain the Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal and she is dreaming of Delhi.”
The BJP will also hold a rally at the same venue on January 23 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address it, he said.
Referring to the outcome of the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha Friday, the BJP leader said, “We had seen the result of opposition unity. The people of the country stood besides Modi and his policies.”
Claiming that West Bengal would show the way to the country after the 2019 general election, a combative Banerjee said, “We will win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It is our pledge. We will oust the BJP to save the country.”
She also claimed, “We do not bother about the chair. We only bother about the people and the country.”
The chief minister said that during the no-trust motion, the NDA got 325 votes as the AIADMK supported it. “Had Jayalalithaa been alive, the BJP would have never got the AIADMK vote,” she said.
She claimed, “The BJP is losing its allies. Chandrababu Naidu, who was their friend, had moved the no-confidence motion. The Shiv Sena did not vote and the BJD too is no longer with them. The BJP and the NDA have started to disintegrate.”
The BJP is outnumbered outside Parliament and in the next Lok Sabha polls, its strength will come down to barely 150 seats, she said.
“They (BJP) are talking about 2024. Let them first cross 2019,” she said in an apparent reference to Modi yesterday asking Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to prepare for moving a no-trust motion in 2024.
She also claimed that the number of the Lok Sabha seats held by the BJP would come down in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal.
“Hundreds of people have been killed in the name of encounters and more than 12,000 farmers are committing suicide every year,” she said, announcing a series of party programmes to take on the BJP.
Describing demonetisation as the “biggest scam” in the country, she said her party is not afraid of the Central Bureau of Investigation or the Enforcement Directorate “which have been used by the Centre time and again to pursue political vendetta”.
Referring to the collapse of a makeshift tent during Modi’s rally at Midnapore, she said, “They cannot even build a pandal. How can they build the country? Our political fight against the BJP will continue.”
Former Rajya Sabha member of the BJP, Chandan Mitra, four Congress MLAs and former CPI(M) MP Moinul Hassan joined the TMC in her presence at the rally. Mitra had resigned from the BJP a few days back.
The Congress MLAs who joined the TMC are Samar Mukherjee, Abu Taher, Sabina Yasmin and Akhruzzman.
Accusing the Congress, the BJP and the CPI(M) of joining hands in West Bengal against her party, Banerjee asked the Congress to make clear its stand.
“In Delhi, they (Congress) seek our support to oppose the BJP but here they are opposing us. They should not adopt double standards,” she said.
On the criticism over the TMC winning several seats uncontested in the May panchayat polls in the state, she said no one raised questions when seats went uncontested in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim. “But we are being questioned even though we have won 90 per cent of the seats.” PTI